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Experiences with Steroids
After experiencing several outbreaks of poison ivy, I would recommend
going to the Doctor. if the "at home" treatment does not help in 2 or 3
days. I scratched a poison ivy site after doing a lot of yard work and got an
infection at the site of the outbreak (this was before I realized what
I had). The Dr. gave me a steroid shot and a prescription cream called
Diprolene AF, along with an an
tibiotic cream to treat the infection and I started seeing improvement within 24
hours. The Benedryl was also very helpful in controlling the itch, and there i
s an anti itch cream over the counter called "Itch-X" that worked better than an
y other OTC product that I tried.
I have poison ivy, sumac and oak in my back yard. Four weeks ago I got
the black sap on my skin in 4 places. During this 4 week stint, I have had two
shots and a round of Pregnezone. I never had blisters but have been itching mi
serably. I look normal now but am still itching. I would love to know how to t
reat this now. It seems that it is in my blood if that is possible. I would be
so grateful for some advice. Thank you very much for your time.
I have always gotten posion ivy but it was always t
reatable by OTC drugs. This time my whole body is covered with poison ivy. So i
called my doctor up and he gave me Prednisone. They are steroids. They help so
much I can't believe it. I took it in the morning and at night I was feeling bet
ter and the poison was already drying up. Ask your doctor about that! And he asl
o gave me Zyrtec to relieve the itching and that works like a dream also. So i y
ou have any questions about these like side effects and how many pills please fe
el free to E-Mail me.
I have had poison ivy for 2 weeks now. I had the raised, red skin with
blisters and the miserable itching. I went to 3 doctors. First, I saw a
physician assistant and she gave me samples of prescription diprolene AF-the
most strongest, potent steroid cream that a doctor can give. It worked okay
but I could only apply it once a day. It was so potent that if I applied it
more that once, then I could have scarring. She also gave me samples of
claritin 10 mg for the itching. It worked at first, then nothing helped. I
saw my Primary Care and he said the same thing...poisin ivy. Unfortunatly, he
said he couldn't give me anything stronger than what the PA gave me. Then, my
sister thought I was allergic to dill weed, so she referred me to her
allergist. He again said the same thing...poison ivy!!! But he gave a
prescription for Prednison, an oral steroid. That has seemed to help the
fasted with the healing process. However, it does a number on your bowel
movements! So far, I found that the best over the counter itch reliever is
spray Cahladril (is that how it's spelled?). It was this burst of itch relief
that was very cold! It felt great!!!
A local doctor has prescribed prednisone, which is a steroid, as a cur
e for my poison ivy.
I have only been on it for 36 hours, and have not noticed any
positive effect yet, but I'll keep you posted.
I just am about over a bout of poison ivy that started 3 weeks ago. I
had not had it in over 27 years and I am usually very careful, but someone
else was pulling weeds and I was bagging and not paying attention to what I
was picking up. Within 3 days I broke out and I looked just awful with
large scaly patches and blisters with oozing. My abdomen started to
swell and my skin looked like a cow with pink spots instead of black!
I tried creams, calamine lotion, but nothing was helping. I finally called
the doc and he prescribed prednisone. After one day I noticed a big
difference. I have been on the prednisone for over a week and the itching
is just about over. The scars are starting to heal and I feel terrific!
So for me, prednisone was the answer. I have had no side effects.
Lorraine from Pittsburgh
I am 41 years old and never had poisen oak, or ivy or even sumac in my
life. I am an active gardener, and had been cutting down, pulling out the
noxious plant for years, but this time it got me in the left leg where it has
spread uncontrollably. I must say that this is the most annoying problem I've
gotten. I had it for 1 week and none of the over the counter remedies helped
to get rid of the itching or spreading. I've not itched one sore since I got
it and it's still spread. I went to an physician which gave me
Prednisone which I hope will work, but it's side effects are nothing to
brag about. I already have insomina which
has been intensified, and anxiety which this medication has certainly
I won't judge it thoughly yet, since I've been on it only 3 days, and my
feeling is, if it gets rid of this lousy poison oak, I'll gladly suffer the
consequences. The only thing that has really helped with this unbearable
itching is the 2 tsp. baking soda to 1 tsp.
Thank you for your great site. It has educated me as to what I am
up against and I am amaized as to how potent pi is. My poor body
exhibits all stages, it seems, starting with new little red spots
not unlike insect bites, thru large (3/4") blisters, and some
crusting. I could not locate Zanfel at the local Wallmart, but did
find noxzima pads and Rhuli. The very hot showers are the best for
instant relief, which I followed with Noxzima and Rhuli. After 5
days from contact, I feel somewhat like the phantom of the opera,
as the rash has not stopped spreading. Since sat when I decided
those little red spots I hosted on thursday were not insect bites,
thru monday when I could see my Dr, (who put me on 2 perscriptions,
"Hydroxyzine Pam 50 mg, and Deltasone 10 mg") am quite depressed.
There is so much conflicting information... For instance, is it ok
to lightly cover the ugly stuff and attend a public affair? To
break or not to break those pesky blisters....is it contageous, if
so when? We don't even know where I came in contact, therefore,
cannot try to get rid of it. However, I do feel I have a support
group going for me with your website. Can you give me some answers,
Please? Thank You
Had never had poison ivy in my entire life. It was a week before I
realized that's what I had. Needless to say, it developed into a
"nasty" case, according to the dr. I had a 6 day pack of steroids
along with benadryl and caladryl. Nothing helped. Then the dr.
Gave me a steroid shot. That didn't help either. The itching was
driving me crazy. I finally on Thanksgiving night drove to the
Emergency Room where they gave me 4 different meds, a shot, Zantac
(which reverses itself and is a histamine blocker used to treat
ulcers), Hydroxyzine (an antihistamine to relieve itching and help
you sleep). They gave me all this in the form of an iv, then gave
me a prescription for oral meds once the iv wore off. Finally, I
had some relief. I still have some scaly, rough patches on my
skin, but the itching is almost gone and my face no longer has any
on it. This was the most horrible thing I have ever gone through
and I've gone thru some rough surgeries in my life. The dr. Said
it just got out of hand and had to be hit very aggressively in
order to stop it.
Having suffered with at least one or two bad cases of poison ivy a
year since I was little, I have tried every remedy and cure
including airplane glue (the camp nurse swore by it) and injections
in the 1950's. After trying every otc ointment and gel I usually
see the doctor for a cortisone injection or a dose pack. One thing
I have found - if I don't scratch it clears up faster. I control
the itching with ice. I keep a supply of disposable ice packs that
you would use in a cooler in the freezer and usually use them at
night so I can sleep. It works.
We were painting our house the week of Oct 4. I pulled a vine that
had grown up behind the wood strips on our house. I then saw the
patch of poison ivy on the ground. Well, needless to say I got
poison ivy on my arms, feet and legs. I have now been to the doctor
a total of 3 times and it's getting worse.On the 8th he put me on
Prednisone 20mg and it did not effect. I have one spot on my ankle
that I got infected and an ulcer came up and it got red in a
diamater of about 3-4 inches. On the 21st he gave me a cream called
Bactroban 2% to put on it. Got worse instead of better. Went back
on the 26th amd he changed the cream to a Betamethasone
Dipropionate Ointment .05%. It seems to have helped the redness on
my foot, but the area on my legs and arms are spreading. He also
gave me a shot that day. I went back on the 30th and was put on a
Dex Pack 1.5mg for 13 more days. I did not think poison would keep
spreading after this length of time. I have not touched anything
that I had on that day and all of my clothes have been washed and
the gloves thrown away. I have not even been back on that side of
the house. I can not sleep. I am taking Zyrtec 10mg,Diovan 80mg for
blood pressure every day. In the past 4 days I have been taking
Zanac at night to help me sleep. Not working, I wake up itching. I
know the next step is going to the dermatologist. I have never had
poison this long and I am going crazy. It is making me have bad
mood swings. I'm hateful and I just want to climb the walls. Any
home cures I can use at home, because the medicine they are giving
seems to not be working,and I am getting very upset with them. I
was one of those people who when I was little I could walk thru it
and not get it. 28 years ago I was 8 months pregnant with our
youngest son and our neighbor decided to burn his lot off. I was
covered from held to toe and miserable. Now I get it all the time.
I know smoke inhaling it is one of the worse ways you can get it.
I got poison ivy about 2 years ago for the first time in my life.
Terrible experience. I had it on my eyelids and down my neck to the
top of my legs. After 1 week on constant itching and pain I was put
on Prednisone and benadryl. My poison ivy did not change much but I
did get heart palpatations. After stopping treatment and then
restarting I found that the prednisone treatments caused my poison
ivy to go down, but increased my irratabilities and nerves. I found
that I was very emotional and suffered 2 panic attacks within 1
month after the treatments. Another first for me. I would caution
people to look out for large doses of steroids as I have read this
kind of reaction is common.
I can definitely relate to an unpleasant experience with prednisone. I've had poison ivy before, but never like the case I got a month ago that just won't go away. My regular doctor eventually prescribed prednisone, starting with 60mgs (to be taken once a day) and I immediately began to feel extremely weird - seeing and hearing things, feeling out of sorts, etc. This subsided as I stepped down to lower doses, but it was extremely unpleasant reaction. It did, though, help the allergic reaction
As I came off the prednisone, though, I broke out in hives and went to see a dermitologist. He suspected that I had a systemic case of poison ivy that was causing hives in other, unexposed parts of my body. I received a steriocortisoid? Shot and more prednisone, but this time I was instructed to take my intial doses of 60mg over 3xs a day - 20mg in the morning, noon and night. Same with the subsequent 40mg doses - but twice a day.
This definitely minimized the earlier side effects - not
completely, but significanlty nonetheless. I realize that there
could be side effects from this that may be unrelated to the dose
schedue, but I thought I'd pass this on should anyone want to ask
their physician about this possibility.
First of all, this site was a source of enlightenment for me when I
finally contracted Poison Ivy for the first time in my 52 years.
After pulling down a large vine from my neighbors home I went about
my normal business of mowing my yard. I didn't know it was Poison
Ivy. Now I do. Approximately 48 hours later, I awoke literally
clawing the blood from my forarms. I had developed a sever case.
Talk about miserable! A trip to the doctor in the morning netted me
a Decadron shot as well as a prescription for Zyrtec. After 5 days
my arms still had swelling and major discomfort. I went back and
was given a prescription for Methylprednisolone 4 mg. I've read
about the "mood swings" others have had from this oral steriod but
for some reason, it doesn't affect me in the same way. I noticed no
changes in my mood. It did help though. After the first day and the
first 6 tablets I noticed that the "angryness" from the whelps
seemed to be subsiding. That along with the Triamcinolone creme
(another steroid) applied eliminated 98% of the itch. That alone
was well worth the price of the medicine. I might also mention that
using a Betadine solution (available anywhere) prior to bathing in
the evening seems to add some help as well. On that I offer no
clinical yes or no. Creams like Cortizone 10 with Aloe did
absolutely nothing for me. Today it been exactly one week and the
whelps are just not starting to lose some of the redness. A agree
with those that use the hot water spray on the afflicted areas.
That actually does work! It can almost save your sanity!
Cortizone InjectionI get poison ivy every year. last year i got it on my face, that my eyes swelled shut completly. well, i got it again this year. i have atrip coming up in 6 days.(to go see my boyfriend). i have gone to the doctors and she gave me hydrocortisone val 0.2% crm 15GM. i have poison ivy inbetween my fingers on my face, eyelids on my ear, on the back of my neck, etc etc etc. I am extreamly scared my eye lids will close again.o ya, an I have it on my scalp. please help me with my problem. tongiht I'm going to try the bleach remedy, thankx, please help asap
--Hottchick4209113@NOSPAMaol.com submitted 7/Sep/2000
Recently, I was exposed to poison oak for an extended period of time
(off & on for about 5 hours) because of my ignorance about the plant. My
daughter and son-in-law had a much smaller exposure. Their symptoms surfaced
within three days. My symptoms showed up on the 8th day. Within 24 hours of
noticing the outbreak, my shins, which had gotten the bulk of the exposure,
were festering and oozing with puss. The doctor put me on Prednisone and
Benedryl (sp?). The areas that were festering seemed to need to run their
course. He also gave me some type of ointment, but I don't know if it even
helped. The new spots which continued to appear for many days did not fester.
I believe the prescription that the doctor gave me made the difference. I was
terribly itchy and uncomfortable for an extended period of time, but I had an
extended exposure to the poison oak. It took about 18 days before I saw
serious improvement in my comfort levels, which was puzzling to the doc!
or, but, when I think back, it makes sense. My advise to those who have a
serious case of poison oak or ivy, try all of the remedies you like, but
absolutely start with the prednisone & anti-itch Benedryl. I believe that many
of the good results from many of the home remedies are coincidental with the
phase of the poison ivy Good luck.
I had a severe case of either poison ivy or poison sumac (thanks to my =
dad wanting me to climb a tree for foxgrapes...long story), anyways I =
had just about my whole body covered in blisters. The only remedy was a =
cortizone injection. Within a week the pain and itch was gone. =
Needless to say I will never climb a tree for grapes again. My children =
have had mild cases and Benedryl creme is a good one to use. Apparently =
it can be used even on the sensitive areas as well. Hope this helps out =
in any case. Just stay out of trees!!!
A doctor prescribed Prednesone for me. It is a sterriod and speeds up the
process of the rash drying it out faster.
I got probably the worst case of poison oak in recorded history while
in california last month. I have had poison ivy before, but it was nothing like
this. I fell into a ravine full of poison oak bushes while biking. The branch
es scratched me and the toxins got into my blood stream. For about 2 weeks, my
legs were swollen to twice their original size. The sores were oozing all
over my legs and i couldn't walk for over a week because my knees and feet
were too swollen.
I received a shot of benadryl and cortisone to start off with. I was
prescribed prednisone, allegra and took benadryl and oatmeal baths...
I bathed in 2 cups of bleach in a tub of water and that immediately cleared up
the oozing. none of the creams or lotions helped at all. It has been over 3
weeks now since exposure and I still have scars, dry skin, and a few random
red dots. It has been the worst experience of my life!!! I have yet to see
any pictures on line that even came close to what I had...they don't have this
stuff here in brooklyn!!!
Zanfel! I'm in (hopefully) the late stages of my first poison
ivy attack. I've been an outdoor sort of person for 15 years,so I
suspect I either 'became sensitive' or got a very highdose. Zanfel
didn't clear it up. The directions say to rub it in until the
itching stops, but in my case the itching never went away - it would
stop in an area, I'd start rubbing somewhere else, and it would
return. I do believe it helped some. After trying it for 3 days,
I went to an MD, who gave me cortisone pills and a shot(plus
anti-biotics - one leg was/is infected). That seems to have done the
trick; the rash was largely gone in 3 days,leaving reddish flaking
skin, which is in turn healing. The leg still appears to be
infected, but much less so than before.So, I can't heap praise on
it. I'll probably give it another try if I get exposed again, but
only for small exposures.
Thanks for the informative website. I just got poison ivy and found
my savior in a steroid shot. Keep up the good work... Sc
UltravateI have a mild case in both insides of my knees so that sleeping is a problem. My md rx'd Benedryl orally and a steroid cream called Ultravate which is halobetasol propionate cream 0.05%. It is used 2 times daily and seems to really helped the rash. it is red only but no oozing (i got rx 3 days after first breakout). the itch has diminished greatly. however, i am still spreading a little, maybe from the oil still on my skin before i started using the cream. Caladryl clear was also a great help in relieving the itch. my biggest problem was in how to sleep without my knees touching each other!(I cut the legs off some old leggings and wore them only to sleep in).
--Jane (anonymous email) submitted Jun/8/2000
Misc OptionsWhat seems to be working now, as suggested by a pharmacist is the following. Take benedryl orally to relieve some (but not all) of the itching. Very lightly scrub the affected areas with a mild soap to pop the blisters (no specific soap or temperature recommended) and pat dry with a clean towel. Then, apply a 1.0% hydrocortisone cream (such as Cortaid) to the affected area to reduce the swelling and relieve some of the itching. After allowing the cream to dry completely for about 15 minutes, then apply straight calamine lotion as often as necessary to dry the oozing. Wash and apply the hydrocortisone cream 3 to 4 times daily. It is very improtant to apply the cream underneath the calamine lotion because the cream will not penetrate the lotion. So far so good. Obviously, severe or continuing (5+ days without improvement) cases should be referred to a dermatologist.
--Karl Kessenich submitted 03/Aug/2000
For poison ivy relief try- Clobetasol prop oint 0.05% 2
times/day on affected area. Keep body cool i.e. no
perspiration. 2 tablets per day Allegra 60 mg.
I have made a few observations that suggest a possible very easy method for avoiding the poison ivy rash. I would like to here if any of this jives with the experiences of others. I've described these observations below as concisely as I can. As soon as I get into the details, the story gets ten times longer:
1) There have been times over the last couple of years when I was fairly certain that I should have gotten the poison ivy rash, but some how lucked out. 2) I inadvertently (and unknowingly at the time) contacted the poison ivy plant late Sunday afternoon and have not come in contact with the oil since then. I contracted the rash - but with two differences: 1) I usually get it on the sides of my fingers, but didn't this time even though the rash pattern around my eyes is clearly from rubbing with the sides of my index finger(s). And: 2) I usually come down with symtoms within a couple of hours but this time it took until late Monday night - it has never taken 26+ hours.So what is going on? I have a suspicion. I am on a prescription for Seldane on an "as needed" basis. Seldane is an antihistamine that I take for my several allergies to airborne allergens (pollen, mold, cat dander, etc). I have been taking it quite extensively the last couple of summers - perhaps during the times when I should have contracted the rash. More telling is that I was taking it this weekend but let it run out Monday. If taking an antihistamine before and for several days after contacting poison ivy keeps the rash away - this would be super perfect. Do you have any information that would support or refute this as an effective strategy? If not, would you use your website to solicit such information?
Thanks and a scratch from, Scott R. Bowden
--"Scott R. Bowden" (sbowden@NOSPAMvividusa.com) submitted 26/Jul/2000
Editor: I have noticed the samething during the spring when I am taking alergy medication for 2 weeks. Hmm you have me thinking!
IcthammolIcthammol 10% by United Research Labs - an over the counter medication but you have to ask your pharmacists for it. It is a "drawing" salve and will draw out the poison... it will draw out anything... like spider bites etc. I put it on in desparation after 8 days of suffering... after 3 applicatio ns in 24 hours, it was all gone. I decided to use this after reading all the ot her remedies on this sight. It educated me in the fact that there was actually poison residing in my skin.
-- Beth submitted 4/Sep/2000
PrednisoneThe bleach thing must be a hit or miss kind of thing - my boyfriend swears by it. We always get it togteher. He scratches till he's opened the blisters and rubs the bleach on the affected areas. Within a fews days he's all dried up. I tried the same thing last year - nothing. My hands which got it first and spread it all over swelled up and would not stop oozing. I made mittens out of gauze so I could sleep at night and not worry about spreading it any further than I already had. I finally went to the doctor after the OTC's & the bleach didn't work. (Tried rubbing alcohol too - felt good for a while but no drying occurred.
The doctor gave me a cream - can't remember what - it was inaffective -
back to the doctor after a couple of days for a more potent remedy.
Prednzone and a cream with steroids in it too. It worked great.
I can't miss work for a week this time - my boss didn't want me any where
near the office. So I turned to the internet for home cure! of somethings
or things in combination that I can concoct to help as funds are low and
payday is tommorrow. I need help now so I can go to work tomorrow. I have
Palmolive and it has been mentioned several times in this feedback forum.
I have it on now while I viewed the rest of the suggestions.
So far so good. do I have to sandblast my keyboard now??? !!!!
Thanks for all the information. I currently am dealing with a
fairly extreme case of Poison Sumac(eastern Missouri). As of
yesterday 95% of my body externally(my esophogas & ears
internally) were affected. I had large 1/4 inch high bright
pink-red whelps all over including scalp. I went to the Dr. Today.
I've been currently taking Prednisone for 18 hours along with
Keflex. My body now has a pinkish tone to it where the whelps
were. Almost no itching & only slight tenderness. I also found
that 2 or 3 "Aveeno"($7.00 For 8 baths worth) baths a day for 20
minutes or so helps. I'm also using "Benadryl- Extra Strength Itch
Stopping Cream"($4.00 For 1 oz.) instead of spray or calamine
lotion...the cream seems to last much longer. The best soap I've
found for cleaning w/o spreading is a basic oatmeal soap(available
at most health food stores-prices vary) I've changed my sheets
everynight so far & sleep in cotton gloves to help stop spreading
the Sumac as it is on my hands! Also. It's best also to aviod
lotions especially rich lotions they tend to aggravate the whelps
& sores, it also seems to make it drastically difficult to drain
or dry out the sores. Anyway happy healing all. Does anyone know
how to get rid of Sumac from furniture/unwashable items? Does
"Lysol Disinfecting Spray" work? --Corey
I have had poison ivy/sumac for 3 years in a row now. The first
time, I had prednisone prescibed. After 2 days I had gained 12 lbs
in water weight, and my rash was worse. I was referred to a
different doctor, who prescribed a stronger dose of prednisone.
After 10 days, my rash was finally gone, but I was looney from so
much prednisone. Last year I got poison ivy and they gave me the
shot. It was gone in 2 days. I got it again this year, got the shot
and here it is 10 days later, and I have poison ivy all over the
place. None of the prescription topicals work either. I've had them
all. I've tried ivy dry, oatmeal baths, antihistamine tablets. I
seem to be a rare case, but just wanted people to know they are not
alone in their suffering.
I went to the walk in clinic yesterday and the doctor told me I
have poison ivy and he has given me elocom cream, novoprednisone
and aerius. The patch is on my leg and up until that time was
spreading alittle. However, it is not itchy at all. Has anyone ever
heard of poison ivy not being itchy?
I have had poison ivy for 6 weeks now. Have taken the Predisone
tablets used the Cutivate cream and still had poison ivy bad. Went
back to Doctor, took a high power steroid shot. Still had poison
ivy. Hot water took away the itch, but in my opinion it pushed the
poison further into me. I was breaking out other places. Sometimes
you could feel a little row of bumps further under your skin. Yes
hot water takes away the itch, but in my case I think I have made
my own problem worse. I think that one should think twice about
using hot water.
I got poision ivy while working outside during the spring of last
year. I tried everything imaginable, but nothing worked. I tried
creams, lotions,baking soda baths, salt baths, but the poision ivy
seemed to be getting worse. I then approached my mom and told her
to take me to the doctors. The doctor gave me prednison ( steriod).
I took it orally 3 times a day for a week. The next morning I
started noticing major results. The rash dried up and got better
and better everyday. Three days later it was almost all gone. I
felt so much better the next day and I could even sleep at night.
Dont try creams and other remedies, just go right to the doctor.
I contracted poison oak the day after Thanksgiving. We went
Christmas Tree Hunting. (Any tree $15, I knew there must have been a
catch) The plants did not have any leaves on them at this time. I
was short sleeved. It took about 48 hours for the first major rash
to appear. I called the nurse and was told to use cortizone,
calamine lotion,zyradryl, baking soda baths, benadryl
cream,Benedryl pills but not at same time as cream......... The
rash flamed up with blisters and then started to tame down. The
next day I was covered with a milder rash all over my body. (I have
been cleaning couches, car interior,jackets, shoes.....Luckily the
tree is not at my house but at my sisters. I was told not to get
near it and to have someone else open any gifts for me.....I Went
to the doctor and I am now on Prednisone.......I Have been on it
plus 2 benedryl 24/7 for 36 hours. My rash is slowly subsiding, but
my hands and feet itch. My cure is to stand in the snow as long as
I can tolerate it barefoot. It supposedly makes the blood vessels
unswell and itching subsides for awhile.. When I was a child I use
to get Cortizoroid shots....Apparently they don't want to give
those anymore. It shuts down the adrenal glands. I have read others
comments and I am going to give the Vitamin c Therapy, along with
benedryl, prednizone. I use aloe vera with benazene in it. Also
drinking aloe vera... I am so glad I don't live near poison oak. It
does not grow above a certain elevation. I am at 4500ft. Merry
I'm too have had an adverse reaction to Prednisone. Never again
will I use it. Thought I was going to have a mental breakdown.
Haven't had pi in years and had a huge vine (almost as large as a
small tree trunk in some areas and covered with red (fur?)) taking
over the garage. I tackled it on day 1 wearing gloves and long
sleeves and bathing immediately after. Day 2 I become brazen and
wore short sleeves, no gloves. Day 4 was the onset of a huge
breakout. Finally on day 9 I gave in and went to the Dr. He
percribed prednisone, hydroxyzine (for itching) and fluocinonide
cream tar. I took the medicines 4 hrs ago and they are working but
I also tried hot baths, baths with salt and straight bleach, all
with some success. I fantasized today that I married a really large
hairbrush (one of my favorite ways to itch) and the honeymoon was
phenomonal! My boyfreind (also has pi) and I have mused about why this
fuzzy plant should have such an aggresive nature. I mean, is there
a pot of gold in the roots? Anyway after scratching my skin raw (I
almost reach utiphia) I say anything that brings you relief can't
be bad. Here's to a new level of respect for pi
I dug up an old terra cotte sewer pipe and had to go through a bank
of ground ivy that had some poison ivy & oak in it. Regardless of
what the "experts" say, I maintain there is a difference between
poison ivy and poison oak. In my opinion, the latter is much more
virulent and potent. In the past doctors would always give me a
week's supply of cortisone pills and prescription-strength
hydrocortisone cream. Things much have changed over-the-years
because a local "Doc-in-a-Box" gave me a prescription for
prednisone only. He said it was the next generation beyond
cortisone. He also said they give internal or topical medications
but not both at the same time. Therefore no skin cream. As the
blisters started fading, I broke out with a hives that ran on the
inside of both arms, around my waist, and developed huge unsightly
discolorations about both ankles. Plus I was having trouble
sleeping at night and developed a cold in the middle of summer! The
doctor thought I had scabies (from being exposed to the clogged
sewer pipe we were replacing) and gave me a sulfur-based
antiobiotic medication to be showered off as well as a prescription
for more prednisone. He said it was impossible for anyone to be
allergic to prednisone as it's produced naturally within the body.
During the next week I started having heart flutterings and severe
migraine-like headaches. I finally quit taking the prednisone when
I started dry-heaving (i.e., vomiting without anything "coming
up"). I have never been allergic to any medication in my life.
Being in excellent shape (5-10" 135-lbs, non-drinker/non-smoker and
a former competitive middle-distance runner and semi-pro
roller-skater), the rapid heartbeats were very new to me. He threw
his hands up in the air and sent me to a dermatologist. I quit the
prednisone "cold turkey" which I know you're not supposed to do.
But I honestly feel I would have been dead if I had continued. The
'derm' gave me a prescription for Claritin. He did affirm that I
did not have scabies but he wouldn't comment on my suspicions that
I was allergic to at least the type of steroid that was present in
prednisone. Neither doctor would return my phone calls to tell me
what was going on. I suspect the latter was covering up for the
former. I found that over-the-counter Benadryl worked better than
Claritin. It took a week before the hives and ankle discolorations
began to fade. (The actual poison oak blisters were long since gone
... the "cure" was proving a lot worse than the original
"ailment"!) But it took a couple of months for my abdomen and
waistline to return to normal. Then 4 months later I started
bloating-up again and had some severe headaches. Almost like either
(1) the prednisone hadn't "washed out" of my system or (2) my
body's steroid system was "confused" by the prednisone and was
generating more internal steroids (Cortisol is what the body
produces) than it had in the past when it sensed an allergic
reaction. It reminded me of a "hysteresis memory effect" that one
sees with magnetic fields and even in simple valves. When I called
the local doctors, none of them wanted to touch me and referred me
to the immunology departments of major universities. I did some
research on the Internet and found that steroid (in particular
prednisone) are not that rare and are more common than most general
practioners recognize. The symptoms were directly traced to the
drug itself and not any "fillers" that were used to bind the drug
in a tablet. The body naturally produces Cortisol -- not prednisone
-- and there are blood tests to measure excessive amounts. But
these are tricky and are usually done by sports doctors (like on
the Olympic and professional sports teams). The local doctors swear
there is no such thing as an anti-Cortisol drug but I've seen hints
of its existence at sites dealing with body-building. Former Olymic
marathon winner Frank Shorter admitted in a Sports Illustrated
magazine clip that it was impossible to compete in world-class
athletic without "legal" performance enhancers (I'm assuming he
meant steroids), but it was very important to have your system
monitored daily to un-do something if you took too much. I have had
a few other out-of-the-blue symptoms of prednisone "poisoning" but
they seem to have diminished in intensity. So maybe my internal
steroid system is restoring itself to its prior "memory" of how much to produce when it senses an allergic reaction. Recently I had
gotten another minor bout with poison oak. I tried Zanfel this
time. It didn't seem to do much for me. Temporary relief of a few
hours. I suspect that the urishiol oil had bonded too tightly over
3-4 days. I tried several applications of Zanfel but none would
help. I ended up going to another "Doc-in-a-Box" who gave me a
steroid-free cream. I can't remember the name but he said it was
originally prescribed for eczema cases. I don't know if it did that
much as it still took 2 weeks to clear up a small blister. I took
Benadryl for the itch. Zanfel is very expensive and most drug
stores (around here) won't carry it because people can't afford it.
On me, anyway, it didn't work once the oil got too "established". I
didn't try Tecnu and those products. I really wish next time I
could go back to the internal-cortisone and topical-hydrocortisone
cream treatments that were "foolproof" for me in the past. But it
sounds like they don't prescribe them anymore ...
My 11 year old son decided to build a fort near the river where we
live. He broke branches and pulled up weeds never knowing it was
poison sumac was messing around with! He has learned the hard way
that he is highly allergic to the stuff. His face was swelled up so
bad his eyes were swollen shut. The ER prescribed Predisone for 12
days. We were back at the DR's 3 days later and they gave us a
steroid cream to also use. The swelling went down very quickly
after that. Anyone getting a bad case should definately see their
dr and get the medicine. All the other remedies just stung.
Needless to say I made sure he now knows exactly what poison ivy,
poison sumac and poison oak looks like.
Neomycin & PrednisoneGreetings: Two weeks ago I came in contact with Poison Ivy and had it in my eyes and on my lower arms, from between my fingers to my elbows( almost one complete rash the whole length) For my eyes, my doctor gave me Neomycin Ointment, which I applied every 4 hours. For my arms I received a prescription of Prednisone. For the intense itching, I used Baby Powder!!! It really shut down the incredible, insane throbbing, itching and I was able to sleep in comfort. I also soaked my arms in cold water with baking soda I've also used hydrogen peroxide solution. Hope this helps, Art
--Arthur Newman (105371.2332@NOSPAMcompuserve.com) submitted 18/Jun/2001
DepromedrolOK- I'll spill the beans- I have been plaqued each summer by the nasty rash from exposure to poison oak since moving to Oregon 5 years ago. My first case weeped so bad I had dressings all over my legs just to collect the serous fluid. Here's the answer and best remedy I have found. Just bite the bullet, go to the Dr. and get a shot in the behind with 80 mg of Depomedrol if there are no contraindications for you. The rash will start drying up in about a day and you will avoid all of the guessing games about what will work to get rid of this nasty invader.
--"childwriter" (childwriter@NOSPAMharborside.com) submitted 3/Jun/2001
I too am battling Poison Ivy at this time. It's what brought
me to the site. I just wanted to clarify something. There is no
poison ivy shot; maybe there was at one time, but there is not now.
The shot you hear people refer ("poison ivy shot") to is actually a
steroid. Usually the steroid given is Depromedrol. This is a neat
cure, but isn't given for mild cases, due to the side effects. My
advice is to try some of these other treatments (the reasonable
ones), and if they aren't helping then see a physician. If you
explain to your physician what you have tried, and prove to him
that you cannot get rid of it then he/she will probably be willing
to give the injection. Side effects are puffy cheeks, deterioration
of bone mass (with proloneduse), and systematic tolerance. These
are just a few side effects I am mentioning. Good
MethylprednisoloneAfter 19 years, I am having a return visit of Poison Ivy. Called Dermatologist immediatly, and he prescribed a 6 day treatment series of methylprednisolone. My Psyryosis is clear, but the pi continues to rage on (I also have not been sleeping well). Nineteen Years ago, the family Doctor prescribed a four-day series of pills and it was clear-up by the time I took the third pill on the first day. I don't remember what it was, but I wish I had it now. Hot showers are great.Going to the Ocean tomorrow for salts and sun!
--"Kevin" (Kevin5810@NOSPAMhome.com) submitted 31/Aug/2001
My doctor has prescibed me what looks like a generic pill
alternative to allergen shots and it's called methylprednisolinone.
I'm not quite sure that's exactly how it's spelled but I know
that's the name of it because I consider this a life saver. It's a
pill "blisterpack" that you take over the course of a week and with
descending dosageages every day as well as times you should take
your pillsand all information printed on the single blister pack
and plastic jewel case that you can carry in your pocket. I usually
feel immediate cessation of itching after the first day. It's a bit
gradual, but very affordable and very effective. I've gotten poison
ivy many times in my life and this seems to be a cure-all. I just
wish methylprednisolinone was sold over the counter in small
dosages so I could go on my outdoor adventures without having to
visit the doctor afterwards for the poison ivy prescription.
I contracted poison ivy for the first time in my 34 years, 3 weeks
ago. After a week, I went to the doctor and was given a cortisone
injection and was also prescribed a compound of Lubriderm
lotion/cortisone. I did not feel relief from either. I called the
doctor again 5 days later and began Methylprednisolone dose pack.
Within 24 hours I began to feel relief in the swelling, oozing and
nagging itching. After completing my third day of the dose pack,
the oozing is completely gone, but I had four new patches, not yet
blistering. I purchased two over-the-counter meds last night and am
currently feeling a lot of relief: Extra Strength Ivy-Dry Super
(spray bottle) and Tecnu, by Oak-N-Ivy Brand. I like the "no-touch"
spray which almost has a lasting "cooling" feeling. I am not yet
sure which of the products is helping, or if it is a combination of
the two. Tecnu does say not to use for at least 3 days after using
hydrocortisone ointments, but since I stopped using that days ago
due to ineffectiveness, it was not a problem. The surrounding skin
is becoming pretty dry and somewhat scaling, but this is a small
price to pay to get relief and hopefully put an end to it! By the
way, I found your site to be so helpful! Thanks for the great
information and photo resource, as I did not know what the plant
looked like until today.
After spending two days gardening this past week, I noticed that
later that evening a large raised bite under my watch. I
immediately gave myself a bleach wash on both arms, but failed to
wash off my gardening tools and clothing. Within 24 hours, both
arms, legs, and breakouts on my neck and shoulders appeared.
Needless to say the pain from the intense burning and itching was
too much. So off to the emergency room, where the doctor
immediately took my blood pressure, which had elevated, and was
given a shot of a coritzone steriod. Followed by the
methylprenisolone pill pac in descending dosage. He also
recommended Ivy Dry or Chorldryl. Which has worked well in the
drying process. He also recommended a wash of chorline and warm
water. After five days, my rashes have lessened however, I still
have breakouts. I may need a refill of the methylprenisolone, while
realizing that everyone has a different tolerance to the ivy
posioning. Amazing how such a small plant wrecks havoc with the
body and can do so much damage. My gardening has been curtailed to
container pots and gardening centers, much to my dismay. But at
least the swelling has improved over the course of the week. Good
luck to all those other fellow poison ivy sufferers. It's the pits.
Dex-PakI've had poison ivy a few times and I think I have it again after being in the woods. Last time I had it the doc put me on a steroid pack that decreased from about 6 pills to 1 pill in one week. The dosage was not near strong enough and on the 3rd day I was on it I had to go back to the doc and get something called a Dex-Pak. It is a pack of steroids that starts off with 8 pills a day and last for 2 weeks gradually giving less dosage. The pills worked great, but let me warn you they increase your appitite and you can never get enough to eat. I gained 5 lbs in one week and a total of 8 in two weeks. Also I could not stay awake and had to frequently get up during the night because I could not sleep. I recomend the Dex-Pak to anyone who is willing to gain a few pounds.
--"A. Greewalt" (atg1237@NOSPAMhotmail.com) submitted 30/Dec/2002
Atarax & PrednisoneI've had poison ivy for about a week now and nothing I try seems to be working. I've had prescription creams that are difficult to apply to large areas and fail without relieving any pain/itching. I've had a prednisone dose pack (4 mg tablets) that helped the poison ivy from spreading but did not make it go away. I had a prescription of atarax (50 mg tablets) that did little more than put me asleep. I would take a shower at least twice a day to wash the oils of my skin and air dry in the bathroom. I was in constant misery, my eyes were burning and swollen shut, my ear passages were clogged by swelling, and every day tasks turned into a whirlwind of pain and itching. My poison ivy has gotten exponentially worse as I get older. I've had it on every part of my body at least 3 times (each time worse than the last). Now I have a prescription of prednisone (10 mg tablets) and a prescription of atarax (50 mg tablets) held at the pharmacy 24 / 7. That seems to do the trick. I also have medical staff on hand so I never get poison ivy for more than a week.
(Atarax did help the itching go away and sleep is always good) For people that have extreme cases of poison ivy I recommend prednisone, atarax, plenty of showers, and sleep (sleep mainly to distract you from the pain and itching) The irony of my situation I'm a Boy Scout -Dan Paquette-
--Nitroman1453@NOSPAMaol.com submitted 26/Apr/2003
DiproleneDiprolene For a seeping rash ask your doctor about this product. It comes in a clear gel that you apply to the affected area. Really cleared my poison ivy up fast!
--"Jack Zimmer" (jackz@NOSPAMmimind.com) submitted 2/Jun/2003
Editor: This medicine is a corticosteroid used to reduce itching,redness,and swelling associated with any skin condition according to its documentation and goes by the chemical name betamethasone. Found this fda paper when searching for it.
Cortisone CreamFive years ago I had a really bad case of Poison Ivy. I was visiting my mother and helping her to clear her back yard. Prior to going in the house to take a shower, I went for a 5 mile run in the heat which apparently spread the Poison Ivy oil all over my legs and arms. On the 2nd day after exposure I went to the doctor for a shot of Prednisone and was also given a prescription for Cortisone cream. The cortisone cream just made the rash worse. My arms and legs were covered with itchy red welts. Meanwhile, I had driven another 300 miles to visit my sister and the day after I got there I had to go to the hospital emergency room where I was given a 2 week course of steroids and told to take Benadryl. I showed the doctor there the prescription cortisone cream and he said not to use it anymore. It was nearly a month before my poison Ivy cleared up. Previous to that time I had been rinsing my extremities with alcohol anytime I was out in the woods, doing yard work etc. But could not find any alcohol at my mother's house. There is no time when I have used alcohol after exposure that I have broken out. That said, I currently have a mild case of poison Ivy on one of my forearms and I'm not sure where I got it. I was pulling weeds up 2 days prior to getting the rash although I didn't notice any poison ivy then. If that was the case I think I would have it on my right arm instead of my left since that's the arm I use to pull weeds with. Or possibly I brushed against a vine while out running on Sunday.
--"Mary" (maryarng@NOSPAMprodigy.net) submitted 26/Jun/2003
Zyrtec stopped the itch in less then an hour, and 1 pill works for 24 hours. The very night I got the perscription, I had my first night's full sleep. I was amazed, and so very thankful. I had tried everything, the pink stuff, Technu, and Zanfel. The only thing that stopped the itch was Zyrtec.
--"Samantha" (admiralsfreak@NOSPAMyahoo.com) submitted 02/August/2003
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